An Outlook on the Food Policy to 2020

Obesity in the UK has become a major health concern, and with the vast amount of unhealthy food available, the number of overweight people continues to increase. Not only does this increase the risk of serious health problems, but it also jeopardises the sustainability of health services. It also creates more rubbish, more food waste and more unwanted critters.  This can be solved with a Pest Control Essex company though who will send someone out to eradicate them for you.   Given the need for action, the Conservative government has come under pressure from campaigners to tackle this contemporary issue.

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Strategy

The publication of the Child Obesity Strategy has been delayed by the government, which has been met by criticism from organisations. Television chef Jamie Oliver and several health charities have advocated the introduction of a tax on sugar as a way to encourage a reduction in sugar in food and drinks.

Libertarian opponents claim that this interventionist policy may have a negative affect on the food industry and free market. The further delay of the publication of the strategy demonstrates the difficulty the government is having in determining a suitable policy.

Controls on advertising are being considered, with the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar products limited during family programming. However, opponents feel this would limit the public’s right to view what they want.

Sugar Tax

On the 16th of March during the 2016 Budget, George Osborne announced that a levy for soft drinks containing sugar would be introduced, with funds going towards boosting sports in primary schools. Drinks that contain over 5 grams of sugar per 100ml will pay a tax, with a higher rate for those with 8 grams per 100ml. Osborne said that this tax was the best way to improve the health of future generations.

For businesses, this announcement may come as a surprise. The government states that the sugar tax will begin in April 2018, which gives a two-year transition period for companies to make adjustments. This will give them time to change their recipes, buy food machinery and ultimately reduce the amount of sugar in their products.

As the UK joins other countries in combating obesity with taxes on unhealthy food, campaigners have welcomed the Budget announcement. This may be an early indication of what is to come from the Conservative government in the Child Obesity Strategy.

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